A Quickie Tip Sheet for Writing Romance | Pelican Book Group Official Blog

Components of a story:

A Hero
A Heroine
Hero’s internal conflict
Heroine’s internal conflict
An external conflict
The denouement

Hero/Heroine – These are the two main characters in a romance novel. They must embody the good characteristics of what a hero and heroine should be. One or both can be showcased in each of their own points-of-view, or you can use one POV throughout the story. White Rose prefers not to use any but those two POVs, although exceptions can be made.

Internal Conflict – The hero/heroine must have an internal conflict – These are compelling emotions: grieving, a heavy responsibility, anger, a feeling of entrapment, a feeling of being torn apart, fear, loneliness, agonizing over the death of a wife, or child.

External conflict – There must be an external conflict – the standard is an obligation or promise to fulfill, a debt that must be repaid, a man/woman/child to protect, a fight over something, land, a gold mine etc. External conflict can take place throughout the book. This can be a means to get the hero/heroine together – on opposite sides of the fence, of course. Towards the end of the book, the external conflict must tear your hero/heroine apart. It must be of staggering proportions, enough to make it seem there’s no hope of resolving the problem.

The Denouement – The last few chapters must deal with resolving the conflict and sending your hero/heroine off into the sunset, white hat straight and honor intact. They must be together by the end of the book.

Cliffhangers – You must end each chapter with a mini-cliffhanger. What is your goal? Keep that reader reading! End the chapter just as something is about to happen.

Emotions and senses – Your people are living, breathing human beings. They have five senses and plenty of emotions. Use those emotions and senses in the narrative. Describe what they are feeling, touching, tasting, smelling, hearing, seeing or getting a hunch about.

Narrative – This is the descriptive part of the story. You can do a better narrative, which won’t be an intrusion to the reader, if you mix it with the emotions and senses. An example:

“She edged her hand along the canyon wall, the rock face snagging at her dress, the whisper of the tearing fabric seeming loud in the nocturnal sounds of the night.”

Creating your story should encompass all the components above as you take your readers into the world of credible fiction.

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